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Revis shuts down Ochocinco again

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) returns

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) returns an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals. (January 9, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

CINCINNATI - Ten days ago, Chad Ochocinco said Darrelle Revis "couldn't cover me in a brown paper bag on a corner of a Manhattan street inside a phone booth.''

Saturday, if there had been a brown paper bag for him to wear over his head on the way out of the stadium, Ochocinco would have been under it.

For the past two weeks, he had run his mouth, worn out his Twitter account and done his best to turn a playoff game into a personal game of chicken between himself and Revis.

And for the second straight week, the receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson but now self-named for the No. 85 on his back was 86-ed by Revis, the Jets' shutdown corner who also, it turns out, is a shut-mouth corner.

Having been held to two catches and just 28 yards in the Bengals' 24-14 loss, Ocho left the field teary-eyed and uncharacteristically speechless with the realization that a matchup he had tried to portray as football's equivalent of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight had been as competitive as Tyson-Spinks.

"He kinda made it personal,'' Revis said. "We're friends off the field, but he tried to come at me as a football player. I just think he wasn't giving me my respect, so I had to man up.''

In the two games against the Jets, Ochocinco was targeted 10 times and caught two passes. Last week at the Meadowlands, under the careful supervision of Revis, he didn't catch a single pass in the 37-0 Jets victory that put them in the playoffs.

That win also gave the Bengals, and Ochocinco, a chance to get even. But in his make-good game, Ochocinco couldn't even make a catch until nearly 50 minutes of football had been played.

To that point, Revis was way ahead in the matchup, having snared a pass intended for Ochocinco for a spectacular second-quarter interception that set up Mark Sanchez's touchdown pass to Dustin Keller that gave the Jets a 14-7 lead.

All Ochocinco had contributed was a 5-yard gain on a dubious illegal-contact penalty assessed on Revis, which initiated their only in-game conversation of the afternoon. "I told him . . . You kinda tugged at me a little bit, I'm looking back at the ball and they flag me," Revis said. "That was bull.'' And Ochocinco's response? "He didn't say nothing,'' Revis said.

For two weeks running, the scores and stats expressed more than Ochocinco ever could have said, blogged or tweeted. And the interception, when Carson Palmer audibled a pass to Ochocinco after noticing him isolated on Revis, had to be the most humbling moment of all.

"I knew Carson saw me on him and I knew they were going to throw it to him,'' Revis said. "They thought it was the weak spot in the defense, but you got your strong corner and one of the best receivers, so it was just a great one-on-one matchup.''

It helped immensely that Palmer, aiming for Ochocinco's back shoulder, threw it slightly behind the receiver, allowing Revis to make a leaping catch.

Palmer said of Revis: "He made a good play.''

Ochocinco said nothing. His performance said it all.

New York Sports